I'm starting at the end by posting this dessert recipe because it would make such a delicious Easter cake. And I realized that if I posted it right away, someone might just want to make it today or tomorrow.
This recipe was inspired by an Orange, Almond and Olive Oil Cake recipe that I found on the Slow Travel food forum. Among other changes, I use pine nuts instead of almonds and I pour a glaze over the cake. I think this is moistest cake I have ever had. The citrus flavor is amazing, too.
One time when I made this cake, I used blood oranges instead of usual Navel oranges. The color of the ground up mixture was very red, as you can see in this photo below of the ingredients. The finished cake did have a slightly speckled look to it but the flavor of the cake was not all that different. So, I would say use whatever oranges you have on hand. But it is easier if they are seedless, because it can be difficult to pick out the seeds.
It is delicious served by itself, but you can really take it to the next level if you serve it with either whipped cream, ice cream or some berries. I've served it with sliced strawberries, and it's delicious. For the cooking class I served it alongside my Honey Ice Cream with a shot of espresso poured over the top—a winning combination. It's really hard to go wrong with this cake. And since it's so moist, it will keep for several days... perhaps longer. I've never actually been able to test that aspect of it.
Olive Oil Citrus Cake
1 medium lemon
2 small oranges (preferably seedless)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 eggs (room temperature)
1½ cups sugar
3/4 cup toasted pinenuts, finely chopped
2/3 cup olive oil
1 cup white wine (a fruity or sweet wine will work)
1/4 cup honey
Juice of one small orange
1. In a medium saucepan, put the whole lemon and oranges and add water to cover. Simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes, then remove from heat. Drain the fruit and let it cool to touch. Cut the lemon in half and discard the pulp and seeds. Cut the orange in half and discard just the seeds, if they have them. Put them in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. This can be done up to a day ahead of baking the cake. Refrigerate and then let it come back to room temperature before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.
2. Preheat oven 350 degrees and place the rack in the lower third of the oven. Lightly rub a 10-inch springform pan with olive oil.
3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl beat the eggs until foamy and then gradually beat in the sugar. Gently fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Add the ground citrus fruit, the olive oil and pine nuts. Mix just until completely incorporated, do not over mix.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and place on the rack in the lower third of the oven. After 30 minutes, check to see if it’s browning. If it’s a nice golden brown color, cover with foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not cover with the foil if it hasn’t browned, just continue baking for another 15-20 minutes, checking on it every so often.
5. While baking, bring the wine, honey and orange juice to boil in a small heavy saucepan. Simmer and reduce to half or until thick and the consistency of syrup, about 30 minutes. Pour over the cake when it comes out of the oven and cool the cake on a rack before taking it out of the springform pan.
8 large slices or 16 small slices